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The first part of "The Millennium Trilogy" of books and film adaptations (all of which have been shot and already released in Europe), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a Swedish film (subtitled) that has received a lot of critical acclaim. It has been playing at the Scotia theater in Toronto for a long time and I finally was able to see it yesterday.

It is an excellent, well plotted mystery/thriller. A disgraced journalist gets hired by a wealthy old industrialist to reopen a dark family mystery. At the same time TGWtDT's story is playing out - she is on some weird (Swedish?) form of probation and dealing with her twisted new probation officer's unreasonable demands. The only thing that links the two stories at first is the fact that she was being paid to spy on the journalist.

I don't want to spoil the plot so I won't go into any further details.

The movie is almost 2.5 hours long, although it didn't feel that way. Always a good sign.

At first I thought the movie was going to be something like a mix of La Femme Nikita and Run Lola Run. It gets a lot darker than that. There are a few unpleasant fairly graphic sexual scenes. Not something you would want kids to see. The movie is 18A in Ontario and that rating is certainly justified.

There is talk of an American remake, which I can't imagine working nearly as well as the original.
 

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Dioneo, thanks for the review. My wife is reading the books so perhaps I'll take her out to the theatres for a change of pace.
 

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Playing at the Encore in Burlington therefore fairly cheap or wait till July 7 for the Blu-ray release.
The US made movies to be done later but most people agree that the Swedish ones will be the ones to see.
 

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I own both of the BDs released to date. The first one is disappointing as it only has the French track. The second one has both French and Swedish... The Swedish track is very good (with subtitles of course!). I always prefer to watch a movie in its native language and use subtitles when I don't understand it. The studio dubbing ruins the whole atmosphere IMO.

Both movies are excellent. I read all three book (in French) twice! :)
 

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An excellent movie, no doubt about it, well told and acted. But my female friend who watched it with me had a tough time with the rather depraved violence and the incredible misogyny. People with delicate sensibilities may not appreciate this flick very much!

cheers,
supervij
 

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had a tough time with the rather depraved violence and the incredible misogyny. People with delicate sensibilities may not appreciate this flick very much!
Thanks for the heads up, supervij. Sounds about in line with the reviews.

How bad is it? I find sexual violence in film extremely disturbing, which is why I've avoided this movie. I love psychological thriller/horror films, such as Silence of the Lambs, American Psycho, Se7en, etc. Disturbing, but not unwatchable.

Any advice?
 

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The rape scene is really horrible.

I would not recommend any woman watch this without first being warned.
 

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Agreed... Listen to this one though. My wife saw this as part of the "Stars and Strollers" program where you can bring your baby to the movie theater. Our son must have been just a few months old when she saw it. She had never heard of the books or movies before going (she just wanted to get out). She was pretty freaked out at the rape scene as you can imagine... She was alone with the baby, as were most of the other moms in the theater.
 

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My wife and I have both read the book.

While I want to see the movie, she's on the fence because of some contents from the book.

Would you say the violence is on par, the same or less than the book? I know this will be very subjective but I want to be able to give her as much info as possible so she can make an informed decision. Essentially, do I watch it alone or with her. :)


Thanks!
 

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For what its worth I found the violence in the movies to be less intense than what's in the books... The rape scene discussed above for example is much more detailed in the book. Can't wait for the third movie to come out... :)
 

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For what its worth I found the violence in the movies to be less intense than what's in the books... The rape scene discussed above for example is much more detailed in the book. Can't wait for the third movie to come out... :)
I agree. When I read about the film sex scenes I was a little bit on edge but I found them an integral part of the story and not gratuitous or exploitative. I think those are the right words. I have seen much worse in other movies and I don't usually watch those types.

Having said that I don't know whether it was better to read the book first or see the movie first. The movie I thought was faithful to the book but, would I have enjoyed the movie as a standalone?

I feel like rereading the book and also rewatching the movie in Swedish.
 

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I haven't read the book and I enjoyed the movie immensely.

Er . . . wasn't the movie in Swedish? I do recall a foreign language being spoken and subtitles.

cheers,
supervij
 

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I haven't read the book and I enjoyed the movie immensely.

Er . . . wasn't the movie in Swedish? I do recall a foreign language being spoken and subtitles.

cheers,
supervij
Setup gave you the option in the blu-ray version to use English language. It was actually a good dub job, nowhere near a Bruce Lee movie. I know you miss something not watching the original Swedish but I was tired and didn't feel like reading for 2.5 hours.
 

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Ah. I haven't watched it on Blu yet, only saw it at the theatres -- with the subtitles.

cheers,
supervij
 

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Just watched this on BR and I enjoyed it, the wife who has read the books didn't like it as much as the books though
 

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I agree. It was an ok movie but probably over-rated.

As far as the rape scene goes, I don't know why all of the fuss. Take that comment from the context of how much non-sexual violence we see in Hollywood movies. From Saw to even Final Destination and thousands more like that we see Hollywood roll out a trainload of extremely violent movies year after year. And Americans have no problem at all with that. But a rough rape scene and they can't stomach it.

I think this is primarily an American issue - the rest of the world hasn't had such an issue with that part of the movie (I'm just back from Europe). This morning I just watched (recorded) the At the Movies guys reviewing the new movie and commenting on how they couldn't take the rape in the first movie. Pretty surprising to me.

I think it's actually sad that seemingly half the comments on this movie are about the rape - it's just one part of a long complex movie. And I think the root cause is the American inability to deal with sexuality. There's no shortage of movies depicting people doing very bad and evil things to other people but regular (though horrific) violence doesn't get a second mention.

In fact I think if someone is horrified by that rape scene yet can watch a Saw type movie without blinking an eye and while enjoying their popcorn has something wrong with them. In both cases we're seeing humans being evil and violent to each other and we should be equally disgusted by both.

Back to the movie - it was pretty good but not mind blowing. I'll watch the 2nd one when it comes to DVD but I'm not exactly holding my breath in anticipation.
 
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